Susana Pimiento's blog
Agudo contraste con los casos Petraeus y Allen
El 15 de noviembre la Corte Penal Internacional le hizo a Colombia una clara advertencia: que espera responsabilidad al más alto nivel por los crímenes graves que están dentro de su jurisdicción, o de lo contrario, podría abrir una investigación formal. La advertencia llegó en el Primer Informe de Examen Preliminar emitido por la Oficina del Fiscal de la Corte.
On November 15, the International Criminal Court gave Colombia a clear warning that the Court expects accountability at the senior level for the serious crimes that fall under its jurisdiction, or else it may pursue a formal investigation. The warning came in the first interim examination report ever issued by the Court’s Prosecutor Office.
Sharp contrast with the Petraeus and Allen cases
Recent U.S. news has been flooded with stories of generals David Petraeus and John Allen, both involved in what is perceived as improper conduct. The scandals cost Gen. Petraeus his position as head of the CIA and Allen’s promotion to command U.S. troops in Europe. The speedy strict consequences in both cases contrast with the fate of four Colombian army officers who, despite their involvement in outrageous crimes, have been chosen for promotion. That is the case of Lieutenant Colonel Orlando Espinosa Beltran and Lieutenant Alejandro Jaramillo, who participated in the February 2005 San José de Apartadó Peace Community massacre. Jaramillo was even sentenced to 34 years in prison for murder by an appeals court last June.
On August 27, the buzz about the peace talks between the Colombian government and the leftist FARC guerrillas grew exponentially, as Telesur reported early in the morning that an initial agreement has been reached to start a dialogue that would lead, once and for all, to en
Aftermath of a Massacre
On June 5, the Antioquia State Court overturned the acquittal for four of ten Army officers in the case of the 2005 San José de Apartadó massacre and sentenced them to 34 years in prison.
By Susana PImiento and John Lindsay-Poland
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff commander General Martin Dempsey visited Colombia on March 29 to announce that within weeks U.S. military personnel will operate from a military base there with the newly formed Vulcan Task Force.
The list is growing of sitting heads of state in Latin America who question the failed war on drugs and seek a debate on their legalization. Besides the voices of Presidents Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Felipe Calderón of Mexico, several Central American countries are joining the chorus, lead by Guatemala under the recently inaugurated government of Otto Perez Molina.
In April 2009, just a dozen weeks after his inauguration, President Obama gathered in Trinidad with the hemisphere’s other heads of the state and vowed to open a new chapter in U.S. relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. He promised these relations would be founded on “mutual respect and equality,” promises that, unfortunately, were not kept. Since 2009, the region has gone through a wave of increased U.S. military intervention expressed in several ways: the revamping the U.S. Navy’s Fourth Fleet; an agreement with Colombia to use at least seven of its military bases (later revoked by Colombia’s constitutional court); support for the Honduras military coup; and military intervention following the Haiti earthquake, just to name a few.
The International Verification Mission and Las Pavas
From November 27 until December 2, forty people from 15 countries went to Colombia to look into how safe is to defend human rights in Colombia. The International Verification Mission on the Defence of Human Rights in Colombia was set to evaluate recommendations issued by United Nations Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya, who visited Colombia in September 2009, after illegal surveillance and harassment of human rights defenders, justices, political opposition by Colombian intelligence agency DAS was unveiled in April 2009. A campaign for the Right to Defend Human Rights was launched soon after, aimed at achieving progress in five fronts: increasing security of human rights defenders, ending impunity for attacks committed against them and stopping the misuse of intelligence, baseless prosecution and stigmatization of human rights defenders, including by public officials.